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Government proposals in respect of broadcasting miss the point - David Cullinane TD

2 August, 2019 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment David Cullinane TD has said that the government’s proposed Broadcasting Bill will not address core issues at the heart of public service broadcasting; instead opting to privatise collection in lieu of serious reform.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“Sinn Féin is not supportive of any increase in license fees at this point in time. What we need is a much deeper and democratic analysis of how we fund public service broadcasting.

“The proposal to extend the license fee to mobile devices is nothing more than a tax on mobile phones, laptops and tablets. There are possible alternatives to this, such as registration for public broadcasting apps through TV license numbers that should be explored.

“The government is looking at this through the wrong lens. This isn’t about tweaking the licence fee model; it’s about broader reform of public broadcasting in general.

“We are utterly opposed to privatising the license fee collection service. 

“We support greater investment in the Sound & Vision 3 scheme - which funds Irish language content  - and are disappointed that the Minister has decided to park this issue at the moment; opting for a review rather than legislation.

“We support greater investment in independent productions as they are mostly domesticity produced and create jobs in the digital and arts sector.

“As with the Sound & Vision Scheme, increased use of Irish content producers remains an aspiration, subject to a Departmental review.

“We also need greater accountability from RTÉ with regard to its public broadcasting responsibilities. Any changes in public broadcasting funding must be linked to greater democratic accountability and greater investment in independent productions.”

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